Common Law Marriage

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Common Law Marriage

A common law marriage is more than cohabitation. This can be a bit tricky since a common law marriage means both parties openly assume a marital relationship.  Colorado does recognize common law marriages, and this can have positive or negative consequences when the relationship falters

An important consideration if you or your partner moves is that even states that do not have laws recognizing common law marriages will recognize the common law marriage and treat it as a legal marriage if it was lawfully contracted in Colorado.

A legally recognized common law marriage will include cohabitation and a marital relationship.  Judges will expect to see such things as: joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, joint tax returns, joint property, acknowledgement of the relationship on insurance, savings accounts, or other financial documents, use of a common surname, affirmation by friends and relative that the couple was acknowledged as a married couple.

Perhaps most importantly, a couple cannot just agree to part once they have entered into a common law marriage.  In other words, there is no such thing as a “common law divorce.” A divorce can only be granted by a court.


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